Minecraft Live is an annual convention hosted by Mojang that shares a glimpse into the future of Minecraft. This year focused on new features coming in the latter part of 2021 and early 2022 and gave a more accurate timeline of updates to players.
The first iteration of this gathering was named MinecraftCon and was held in 2010. In 2010, only about 50 people — and one Creeper — attended. This is a stark difference from the MineCon held in 2016 that broke the Guinness World Record for the largest attended convention that celebrated a single game. However, this record was broken by Minecraft fans a few months after, with the unofficial MineFaire held in Pennsylvania that hosted a total of 12,140 attendees. The next year, Mojang opened up and extended “official” status to a number of Minecraft fan conventions, including MineFaire.
Also in 2017, the convention got a rebrand as an online interactive livestream that Mojang dubbed “MINECON Earth,” where the community voted on which mob (short for mobile entity) would be added into the game. Ever since this initial vote, the community has been involved in the addition of many new creatures to the game. The debates over which mob should win get heated online, and the live chat during the vote seems to endlessly cascade into a blur of words that can’t be discerned by anyone.
This year’s convention was held on Oct. 16, and Minecraft fans were treated to all sorts of delicious new content and updates for their favorite game.
First off, players that had been waiting for the second half of the Caves and Cliffs update were reassured by Mojang creative leader Agnes Larsson that it would be coming by the end of the year. Caves and Cliffs was an update announced at last year’s Minecraft Live. The first part was released as update 1.17 last June after Mojang decided to split the update into two parts to give their development team the necessary time to release a polished version.
While some were upset by this, many players defended the company by agreeing that working remotely is difficult and assured Mojang that true fans will wait until the update is ready to launch. The first half of the update added in different mobs such as axolotls, goats and the glow squid, which won the mob vote in 2020. The second half of the update will focus on biome and terrain building updates, with a heavy emphasis on cave changes.
During Minecraft Live 2021, Mojang also announced the Wild update 1.19, arguably the most significant update to the game yet. An especially interesting addition coming with this update is a revamp of the swamp biome. Back in 2019, the swamp biome was part of the community vote, and as part of its campaign, it promised to add in boats with chests, mangrove trees and frogs. However, when the mountain biome won the vote, fans believed that the swamp biome would never get any love from Mojang.
Now that the Wild update has been announced and it looks like it will bring in their old proposed ideas, many think that other past vote losers could be brought back in future updates. Bitter past swamp biome voters seem very pleased with the inclusion of frogs in the update. Depending on their biome, frogs will come in three different varieties: normal frogs, snowy frogs and tropical frogs. And of course, where you have frogs, you have to have tadpoles … and fireflies too! The swamp portion of the Wild update also adds mud blocks, which can be used to form bricks and make new styles of houses.
The other half of the Wild update has players very excited because the game has never done anything like this before. Minecraft takes a darker turn with the addition of the Deep Dark biome, an update that was supposed to be added into Caves and Cliffs part two but got pushed back due to the ever-increasing scope of the project.
In the Deep Dark biome, players can come across Wardens, a terrifying new mob. Wardens use sculk sensors, which is a new type of block that acts as a wireless Redstone block. This block tracks vibrations and relays messages to nearby sensors when triggered. Wardens are blind but are equipped with these sculk sensors, which means they can sense a moving player. Wardens will attack players and hunt them down, following the player’s vibrations. Deep Dark Cities are huge new generations that spawn in the Deep Dark biome, where players can explore multiple levels of a castle-like structure to find unique loot.
And finally, Minecraft Live ended with a winner of their 2021 community mob vote. The first runner-up was the Glare, a greasy Oscar the Grouch-esque creature that would lead players to dark areas, possibly even to the Deep Dark. Next was the Copper Golem, a friendly-looking fellow that has a tendency to push copper buttons, which would also be added in. But both failed at the feet of the Allay, who was the community’s pick in the end. The Allay is a tiny blue fairy-like creature that will go and find more of any item the player gives it. The Allay ultimately won the crowd over with the cute dance it does every time it hears music, as shown in the introduction video.
Minecraft Live is a great way for Mojang to communicate to its fans what it has going on behind the scenes. In this way, the Minecraft community and Mojang have built a strong relationship. Players not only feel as if their voices are heard, but also that their opinions are taken into account in future additions to the game. In addition, players are able to be more understanding when the company asks for more time on an update or release, something that some studios haven’t been so lucky to have. And with a more positive community, Mojang is able to create a game that they genuinely care about and put effort into.